Mark Saunders’ injuries ended his career as a train driver.
A father-of-four, who lost his “best job” following a hit-and-run, has secured a six-figure sum in damages with the help of Thompsons Solicitors and his union, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF).
Mark Saunders, a train driver from Kent, was riding his motorcycle to work in Paddington Station early one morning when an SUV driver pulled out in front of him and knocked him off his bike.
The 46-year-old was taken to hospital with multiple serious injuries and was in hospital for the next seven months.
When Mark’s wife, Alyson, rushed to hospital to see him, she couldn’t believe that the state of his injuries were the result of him just ‘falling off’ his bike so she called the police to ask if anyone else had been involved. When the police looked into the incident, although there were no witnesses, CCTV revealed how the SUV had collided with Mr Saunders at a junction and then fled the scene.
Mark Saunders and his wife, Alyson
Police arrested the driver 12 days later and discovered that he had hit Mr Saunders while driving home after an all-night FIFA-playing session with a friend. He was later convicted of driving without due care and attention, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report the accident to the police. He received a fine and eight points on his licence.
The injuries sustained by Mr Saunders were life changing. He lost 50 per cent of his vision in both eyes and suffered from a personality change and memory loss, which led to him having to learn how to walk and talk again.
He also suffered a fracture in his right femur, tibia and fibula, multiple pelvic and sacral fractures, as well as an abdominal injury to the small bowel, which resulted in him needing a colostomy bag for 18 months.
Mr Saunders said: “Someone’s carelessness caused me to lose not only the ability to walk and talk but also my livelihood.
“I had been a train driver for just four years, but it was the best job I ever had. I loved driving different trains and going somewhere different every day. The people were great too – we called ourselves ‘The Railway Family.’”
Before the accident, Mr Saunders had been a health and safety representative for ASLEF. While he was recovering in hospital, a friend, who also worked on the railways, encouraged his wife to get in touch with the union, who got Thompsons Solicitors on the case.
Mr Saunders added: “Thompsons has been very good with me. My lawyer, Kam, was really personable and patient. I know I asked lots of questions but he always took time to explain. He cared about my health as much as he cared about my case.
“No amount of money could ever make up for the incident, but at least I don’t have to worry about my family’s finances while my ability to work is limited.”
Mick Whelan, general secretary at ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, said: “The lives of our member and his family were turned upside down because of this accident. He’s made significant progress but, because of the injuries he sustained, his life will never be the same.
“We were pleased we were able to work with Thompsons to ensure that Mark benefitted from expert advice and got to keep 100 per cent of his compensation.”
Kam Singh, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The cowardice of the hit and run driver who chose to flee the scene of an accident without any thought or compassion for the man left lying on the ground fighting for his life is contemptable. I am so pleased to have played my part in ensuring that Mark and his family can begin to move on from this horrible chapter.”
Injured on the roads? Help and compensation is close at hand.
If you’ve been injured on the roads in the last three years, our expert road traffic accident solicitors can support you. Whether you were injured as the driver or passenger in a vehicle, or as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may be able to claim for damages.
Unlike other firms, Thompsons only ever acts for the injured person – never for insurance companies. This means we will fight harder to secure the maximum level of compensation for your injuries, and not try to please motor insurance paymasters.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation assessment of whether you have a claim for compensation following a road accident.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.